Judicial Panel Grants Plaintiffs’ Requests for Pretrial Coordination of Class Action Lawsuits Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1407, Unopposed by Class Action Plaintiffs or Common Defendants, and Transfers Actions to Eastern District of Pennsylvania
Ten (10) class actions – eight in New Jersey, one in New York and one in Pennsylvania – were filed against various defendants alleging antitrust violations; specifically, the class action complaints allege “price fixing in a claimed nationwide market for blood reagent products and seek recovery under federal antitrust law” In re Blood Reagents Antitrust Litig., ___ F.Supp.2d ___ (Jud.Pan.Mult.Lit. August 17, 2009) [Slip Opn., at 1, 2]. Twenty (20) related class actions were treated as potential tag-along cases, id., at 1 n.1. Plaintiffs’ lawyers in three of the New Jersey class actions filed two motions with the Judicial Panel for Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) requesting centralization of the class actions pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1407 in the District of New Jersey. Id., at 1. The motion for consolidation was not opposed, but the parties proposed various venues for transfer. Responding plaintiffs in other New Jersey class actions supported the motion; responding parties in Pennsylvania class actions, supported the motion but requested transfer to Pennsylvania; responding parties in Texas class actions, together with class actions pending in other states, requested transfer to Texas; still other responding parties requested transfer to Illinois or South Carolina. Id., at 1-2. Certain common defendants requested centralization in Georgia, id., at 2. The Judicial Panel granted the motion to centralize the class action lawsuits and decided on the Eastern District of Pennsylvania as the appropriate transferee court. Id.